Sakset/Fra hofta

Hvorfor skulle Iran finne på å drepe en saudi-arabisk ambassadør på amerikansk jord? Atlantics Steve Clemons ser flere grunner: Iran mener det er USA som er sterkt svekket regionalt og globalt, og kan ha villet teste amerikansk besluttsomhet.

Iran doesn’t feel isolated. It feels as if it is in the ascendancy as the US stumbles through strategic contraction — leaving allies dumbfounded and vulnerable with more burdens on key states like Saudi Arabia to fend for themselves and alter their strategies. Saudi Arabia and the broader Sunni coalition it has through the region are being hit both from social-network driven revolutions from within but also are in a serious struggle with what many call the Iran-led Shia Crescent in the region. As the perception of American weakness has strengthened, the Saudis have complained bitterly to the US to turn things around and get ahead of the trends, to get ahead on the Israel-Palestine divide which animates passions in the Arab street, and to get serious about Iran and its machinations throughout the region.

Iran sees the US stuck in a quagmire in Afghanistan and still to some degree, tied down by Iraq — whose temperature is more controlled by Tehran than Washington. The US financial crisis, a frustrated American population that wants to deal with issues at home rather than abroad, and diminishing returns to the US from playing global cop have factored in to Iran’s probably incorrect assessment that the US is weak and could be hit hard now.

Det er en oppfatning at revolusjonen i den arabiske verden har svekket USAs innflytelse.

Saudi-Arabia føler seg presset og er ikke fornøyd med USAs tilpasning. Kan Iran ha trodd at et attentat ville økt avstanden mellom Washington og Riyadh?

A combination of perceived American weakness combined with wanting to knock the Saudis off balance might have been enough to justify this strike, which I agree is highly unusual. The Iranians do not believe that they have a track forward with the US. They believe that China and Russia will not automatically line up with the US and Saudis even if they were able to align their actions after the assassination might have taken place.

Når det gjelder plotets usannsynlighet viser Clemons til James Risens bok om CIA som er full av historier om operasjoner som var like amatørmessig utført.

Iran’s Logic in Assassinating a Saudi Ambassador?